Evyatar Marienberg, the E.J. and Sara Evans Assistant Professor of Jewish History and Culture, is a historian of religions, having a particular focus on the study of beliefs and practices of lay Jews and Christians from various periods. Dr. Marienberg is a strong believer in the many intellectual and scholarly benefits of studying more than one religious culture, whether a comparison is intended or not.
Born in Israel, Evyatar studied for several years at Yeshivat Ha-Kibbutz ha-Dati of Ein-Tzurim. Later, during a five-year stay in Paris, he studied Catholic theology at the Institut Catholique de Paris, and religious studies at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes en Sorbonne. He was then appointed a visiting fellow at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Yeshiva University in New York, and, a year-and-a-half later, an assistant professor (special category) in the Department of Jewish Studies at McGill University in Montreal.
His doctoral dissertation (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, 2002) was devoted to the conceptualization of menstruation in Jewish and Christian cultures, with a particular interest in the Medieval and Early Modern periods. Half of it was published in France under the title Niddah. Lorsque les juifs conceptualisent la menstruation.
Before coming to UNC, Dr. Marienberg spent four years teaching and doing research at Paideia Institute in Stockholm and Tel Aviv University, as well as a year as a Carey postdoctoral fellow at the Erasmus Institute at the University of Notre Dame, two years at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and one semester at Harvard.
Marienberg is working now on a study of traditional Jewish guides to marital sexuality ("Jewish Kama Sutras," as some might put it). This project is currently being considered for publication by a major university press. Another book he has already completed, a 250-page book introducing the contemporary Catholic Church, the first ever in Hebrew, is forthcoming in Israel.
Evyatar is delighted to be a member of the Department of Religious Studies at UNC, not only because of all the obvious reasons of being a part of such a prestigious institution, but also because it is the first place in which he can actually teach topics related to both his fields of interest: Rabbinic Judaism, and Contemporary Catholicism.
For more information, see his website.